FC Köln’s return to the Bundesliga has not been easy thus far. With losses to Wolfsburg, Borussia Dortmund, and Borussia Mönchengladbach, the Billy Goats have not had it easy. Even in their lone victory, Köln had to match-up against SC Freiburg, which was in third place at the start of the this weekend.
So, yeah, things won’t get any easier today for Achim Beierlorzer’s squad as Bayern Munich looks extremely formidable and poised to light up the scoreboard at the Allianz Arena. As always — and in what will surely sound like a broken record if it does not already — Bayern coach Niko Kovac has his work cut out for him in trying to ensure he is best utilizing the talent on his roster.
With every game, Kovac has excruciating choices to make on who to play, who to bench, who to use as substitutes, and when to bring them in. Does he use Thomas Müller or Philippe Coutinho? Who sits among Kingsley Coman, Serge Gnabry, and the ever-productive Ivan Perisic? Does Javi Martinez warrant a spot in the XI over Corentin Tolisso? Should Joshua Kimmich play midfield or right-back? Who slides to left-back if Lucas Hernandez can’t play?
These are just some of the choices Kovac will have to entertain. About the only “sure things” in the line-up for Saturday are Robert Lewandowski at striker, Manuel Neuer at goalkeeper, Kimmich at one position or another, and Niklas Süle at center-back. Given the injury situation with David Alaba and Hernandez, Benjamin Pavard most likely will play somewhere as well, but Kovac could go in a variety of directions with his XI.
And it will be like that every game. So, if you are stickler for normalcy like me...it’s going to be a long year. Regardless, Bayern Munich rolls in this one.
Prediction: Bayern Munich 3, FC Köln 0
RB Salzburg striker Erling Haaland is not the only player from Jesse Marsch’s squad garnering some big-name interest. Midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai, who was linked to Bayern Munich is drawing interested from Arsenal and some Italian powers:
According to Hungarian issue Nemzeti Sport, 18-year old international midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai, still glowing as a Red Bull Salzburg powerhouse, has been targeted by Arsenal. Inquired by many clubs around, Austrian club playmaker is tracked by Inter Milan, Juventus, and Lazio.
Bayern Munich’s acquisitions of Michaël Cuisance and Philippe Coutinho, plus an already stacked midfield, could have made immediate interest wane from the Bavarians, but Szoboszlai is a stellar prospect and will likely only enhance his reputation with the more exposure he gets in the Champions League.
Here’s a secret: Back when the #Area51storm rage was going on over the summer, I started to pen a BFW-specific version, but scrapped it because life got in the way. #TimoTime, #OdoiBoyz, and #MüllerMafia were all on the front-line of the raid, though:
Sport Bild journalist Christian Falk has not limited his flex-ing to the summer. No, he’s back at it as he diffused any notion that Bayern Munich was keeping an eye on Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel:
The Polish Hitman has been pretty good so far, huh?